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Poland Proposes Social Media ‘Free Speech Law’

todayJanuary 20, 2021 1

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Poland’s government has proposed a new law to stop social media platforms from deleting material or prohibiting users who do not break Polish laws.

What We Know:

  • The suggested bill would see social networks penalized up to 50 million Polish zloty, equivalent to $13.4m U.S dollars (USD), for failing to recover deleted posts or accounts. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro declared the “freedom of speech protection” bill on Friday.
  • The law would also set a “freedom of speech council.” The council would order social channels such as Facebook or Twitter to recover deleted material or unblock a user’s account following a review, Mr. Ziobro stated.
  • In Poland, social media users who had been banned or had content deleted would have the opportunity to complain directly to the platform, responding within 24 hours. If a social media company declined to comply with an order, the council would be able to submit a fine of between 50,000 and 50 million zloty equivalent to 13,301.05 and 13,301,050.00 USD.
  • Ziobro leads a vital coalition partner in the Polish government. His party alleges that established Roman Catholic values are under threat from LGBT rights. He said big internet companies were frequently restricting freedom of speech.

“Often, the victims of ideological censorship are also representatives of various groups operating in Poland, whose content is removed or blocked just because they express views and refer to values that are unacceptable,” Mr. Ziobro stated recently.

  • Under the introduced bill, associates of the free speech council would be elected for six-year terms by a three-fifths majority vote in government in an attempt to safeguard pluralism, Mr. Ziobro said. They would be experts, not politicians.
  • Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, has stated that defending the freedom of speech on the internet is a priority for him and has warned against “political correctness.”
  • “Censorship is not and cannot be accepted,” he wrote on Facebook, which has suspended US President Donald Trump’s account.

According to Sebastian Kaleta, a deputy justice minister, the rules could be in effect next January. Twitter’s banning of President Trump has drawn some criticism in Europe, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling it “problematic.”

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todayJanuary 20, 2021